Kathryn Feeney QUEENSLAND
Kathryn Feeney became Rose of Tralee in 2006, and has been the only Queensland Rose to win the title
After my year as the 2006 Rose of Tralee, I returned to Australia and completed my Bachelor Arts (majoring in History and English) and Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Queensland. I now love working as a secondary school teacher at Saint Rita’s College, an all-girls Catholic school in Brisbane… a far cry from my work as a Veterinary Nurse that paid my way through university!
I still live in Queensland, surrounded by my family who have shared the Rose journey with me. I am so thankful to them and so glad they could return to Ireland this year for the wonderful 50th celebrations… it wouldn’t be the same without them! There will be a notable exception to our family celebrations though: my boyfriend, Ben Caffery who was so supportive during my Rose year, as a new police academy graduate must answer the call of duty back home in Brisbane. I am also looking forward to becoming an aunty in October, with my eldest sister, Clare, soon to welcome the first Feeney grandchild into our clan… look out Rose of Tralee 2035!!!!
When I am not teaching, I enjoy playing on a beach volleyball team, along with all things ‘girlie’- meeting friends for coffee, cocktails, shopping and race days. One of the highlights of my Rose year was attending the Cheltenham Races so it’s nice to relive that memory back home… and hopefully pick a winner or two! Travelling the world throughout my year to visit Rose Centres all over Ireland and in Great Britain, Dubai, the USA and Australia was another highlight for me. For the moment however, I am content to be a homebody (and not live out of a suitcase!) but I am planning a trip to Cuba and South America next year and then I am sure it will not be long until the travel bug hits again and I will be back in Ireland… my home away from home!
The Rose of Tralee genuinely expanded my horizons and grew my friendship group a million-fold. My favourite aspect of the ‘Rose’ is the connections you make with people all over the world, linked by our unique experiences in Tralee. Thanks to Facebook and our ability to travel, I have had many friends visit from Ireland and abroad and I cannot wait to celebrate with everyone again. I am now working with the Queensland Rose Committee and I look forward to continued involvement in this wonderful festival - I love that I can share my experiences with the talented young women who every year step forward to participate and learn more about their heritage and the Irish Diaspora.